Hunger striker academic Nuriye Gülmen, who has been jailed by Turkish government since May 23, 201, has been taken into intensive care on Monday night on the 202nd day of her hunger strike to be reinstated into her position.
Academic Nuriye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça are two of the tens of thousands of people who were expelled with a government decree under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 20176.
Gülmen and Özakça were holding demonstrations on the Yüksel Street in the heart of Ankara against their dismissal with a arbitrary government decree and later started a hunger strike to get their jobs back in March 2017. Both educators were jailed in May 23 and since then they have continued their hunger strikes in prison.
It was reported that as both educators have still continued their hunger strike in prison, academic Gülmen was taken from Sincan Prison Hospital where she is held to the intensive care unit in Ankara’s Numune Hospital.
While Gülmen was forcibly taken out of her room at around 03:30 on early Tuesday, neither her lawyers nor doctors from Ankara Chamber of Medicine have been allowed to access to her. It was reported Gülmen has been only accompanied by her sister Beyza Gülmen and she has reportedly been reading books for her.
Gülmen’s lawyer Aytül Kaplan has stated that “Gülmen is conscious. She would have attended the hearing two days later if she hadn’t been taken to hospital.”
Gülmen’s doctor Onur Karahan has also said that she would be held in intensive care unit and kept under observation from now on, adding that they are not allowed to visit her.
Gülmen had demanded to attend the hearing scheduled for two days later, September 28, 2017.
A total of 14 lawyers, who defending the jailed hunger striking educators Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, have been arrested on charges of alleged links to the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) last Thursday. 16 lawyers were detained as part of an investigation while 14 lawyers were arrested on charges of alleged membership in an armed terrorist organization and founding and leading an armed terrorist organization, two were released on judicial probation.
According to a tally by TurkeyPurge.com, over 146,000 people, including some 10,000 soldiers, have been dismissed from government jobs, more than 122,00 detained and almost 57,000 arrested over coup charges.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.